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The Background
In 1997 Barrow Borough Council asked The Ashton Group to produce a community play for Barrow. What eventually became Barramundi took 3 years of community development and fundraising. Instead of one big show we decided it might be better to make a number of smaller shows so that lots of people could be involved at all kinds of different levels, and that there should be lots of writers involved to give a wide range of voices. On this principal we put together a mixture of writers from Barrow itself and from outside the town. So alongside Barrow’s Sarah Miller, Kate Davies, Phil Gregg and John Hall are Julia Darling from Newcastle and Kevin Fegan from Manchester. Added to this mix, some of the performers devised their own material, young people from Ormsgill and Barrow Island and the members of Barrow Deaf Drama Group.

Some of the Barramundi stories were based loosely on real events, some were entirely fictional but set in real places around the town. They were imagined happenings, stories spun out, gossip and tall tales such as you might hear told in any playground, bar, supermarket checkout or doctors waiting room across the town.

The nine plays that made up Barramundi were performed over three nights at Forum 28 in Barrow in 2000.


As part of Barramundi, The Ashton group ran an Intergenerational Choir project in partnership with Ormsgill Primary School, Age Concern (Building Bridges Project) and Urban Voice. Sarah Miller ran creative lyric writing workshops with a mixed group of Year 6 pupils and senior citizens. The songs reflected the different views of Barrow across the generations and celebrated their shared experience of the town. Tyndale Thomas of Manchester’s Urban Voice put the lyrics to music and the finished songs where then recorded onto CD in the studio at Lantern House in Ulverston. The choir’s work is part of the National Foundation for Youth Music’s, ‘Singing Challenge’.

Click on the link below for more details of the shows

Night One -Young Voices



The Nightmare Slayer

Night Two - Folk gettin' on with it

Billy Lomas

Dangerous Business


Night Three - Another Saturday Night

White Van Man

The Night that Tom Jones came to Barrow

The Bull, the Pull and the Strip

Artistic Director Rachel Ashton
Associate Director Sarah Miller
Assistant Director Phill Gregg

Design Andrew Wood
Production Manager Gary Bridgens
Lighting Design Dave Hill
Deputy Stage Manager Alina Hutchinson
Sound Urban Voice, Manchester (Andy Williams and Tyndale Thomas)

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